Photos on Friday…

Photos today, but no stories. It’s been a busy week with visiting exchange students, sleep deprivation and work insanity so it’s hard for my brain to put words into sentences at the moment. I’m looking forward to a weekend of rest, relaxation and re-connecting the synapses.

Photographs captured during my Parents’ visit in December when we walked across the Tilikum Crossing Bridge and caught the aerial tram for a bird’s eye view of the city.

Snow Crazy 2017

We’re preparing for another possible bout of freezing rain to come through Portland tomorrow. It’s been a tough winter for this snow-phobic Aussie, and I find myself flipping regularly through photos of our Costa Rican vacation and longing for a little sunshine.

I’m not alone. The common refrain from fellow working parents when we see a snowflake on the weather forecast is “Noooooooo”! Thankfully the kids already have the day off tomorrow for teacher planning so we won’t have to contemplate the logistics of adding yet another day to the end of the school year.

Still, I have to admit that I enjoy the first day or two of snowfall when everything is  covered in a bright, white blanket and the sound of the neighborhood is muffled. It’s by day 3 or 4 when the blanket starts to turns different shades of brown and yellow and we all start feeling like shut ins that I find the snow unbearable.

But I have to admit that snow in the sunshine can be pretty….


Happy Places

Trying to not look away from all that is happening, while also maintaining my sanity, is exhausting. I’m trying to balance the insanity with a few diversions. Ironically, they all seem to have some relation to our current political situation.

Making Oprah (Podcast) – only three episodes long, but fascinating. I’m half way through episode two where they talk about the shift to intentional programming. The production team had to have an intention behind every show that they produced, with a primary goal to put something good into the world. Intention matters.

Hidden Mansions – The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune, by Bill Dedman (Book) – The story of a reclusive multi-millionairess and the properties she owned all over the country but never lived in. Money doesn’t buy happiness.

My Favorite Murder (Podcast) – Come for the murder stories but stay for the girlfriend chatter. No relation to the current political climate…;)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Movie) – I read the book many years ago and loved it. I’m happy to say that the pictures in my head were reflected nicely on screen. A beautiful movie about people who find strength through their peculiarity. Being different is powerful.

La La Land (Movie) – pure escapism and a wonderful throwback to old Hollywood musicals. This movie helped me find my happy place before the inauguration but I think I might need to go see it again for a refill. It’s important to find a distraction every now and again.

I’m also looking at pictures of beautiful flowers from our trip to Costa Rica late last year. It’s the little things that are getting me through…

We, The People

In true Portland fashion, it rained on Saturday. Actually, it poured.

Which only mattered a little bit because after exiting a very crowded train, we walked to a very crowded waterfront where we found ourselves in a very crowded space under the Morrison bridge…and out of the rain.

Yes, it was crowded – a wonderful problem to have when you’re attending a March in support of the rights of women and so much more.

Because this was never just about womens’ rights for me (although that is SO important). It was about a community coming together to fight against a government that so clearly wants to roll back the clock, isolate America from the rest of the world, disenfranchise groups like immigrants, the LGBT and the disabled, and make sure the rich get richer while the poor and middle classes are left without easy access to the basic necessities like education and healthcare.

I am a woman and an immigrant but I am so, so fortunate. I grew up in a country where healthcare was a free and basic right for everyone, where a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body was not at risk of being taken away and where I had access to a good tertiary education, without needing to take a student loan.

And, although I am an immigrant, I am white, middle class, and speak with an accent that most people find endearing rather than threatening. I have a job that provides health insurance and I live well above the poverty line. My privilege makes it my responsibility to stand up and make sure others have the opportunities that I’ve been granted simply because of where I was born and what I look like.

That’s what this march was about for me.

Thank you Portland for showing me that I am surrounded by like-minded neighbors who value these things as much as I do. 100,000 people stood with me on Saturday (yes, we stood more than we moved) and I feel like this is just the beginning. Our President says his election is the beginning of a movement and I think he’s right – he’s just mistaken about the direction we’re going.

We, the people. Not the individuals, the people.

This is just the beginning.

Mixed Feelings

I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach today that won’t go away. Part of me wants to just go to my happy place…

But the rest of me feels more like a warrior, ready for a fight…

Tomorrow I’ll march with thousands of my fellow female warriors and remind myself not to look away.